Volume 14, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1568-1475
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9773
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Swedish children’s use of the headshake from 18 to 30 months shows a developmental progression from rote-learned and formulaic coordination with speech to increasingly more flexible and productive coordination with speech. To deal with these observations, I make use of the concept of multimodal constructions, to extend usage-based approaches to language learning and construction grammar by inclusion of the kinetic domain. These ideas have consequences for the (meta‑)theoretical question of whether gesture can be said to be part of language or not. I suggest that some speech-coordinated gestures, including the headshake, can be considered part of language, also in the traditional sense of language as a conventionalized system.


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